Gospel Gazette Online
Vol. 15 No. 2 February 2013
Page 5

God Is!

Gary C. Hampton

Gary C. HamptonIt is not unusual to be challenged today by someone who has either been brought up to disbelieve or has had bad experiences in life. He or she may ask the Christian to “prove to me there is a God!” Of course, “No one has seen God at any time” (John 1:18). Neither has anyone tasted, touched or smelled Him. Some in the Old Testament heard Him, but none of us has. We cannot isolate God in a test tube or examine Him under a microscope. We must use some other means to show God is.

The Creation Proves There Is a God

The greatest evidence of God’s existence is found in His creation. “The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork” (Psalm 19:1). Creation exhibits a design that must be the work of a designer. Most have no trouble understanding that any house, or other structure, had a designer or architect, who drew up a plan for its construction. In the same way, the world around us displays a design that denies an origin of mere chance. Bert Thompson and Wayne Jackson, in their book A Study Course in Christian Evidences, on page 25, wrote,

Did you realize, for example, that the human body is composed of multiplied trillions of cells? In the nucelus [sic] of each cell, hundreds of thousands of genes are present. Each gene consists of a complex chemical called deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). DNA has a complicated code for the mapping out of the entire development of the individual. If the coded instructions of a single human cell were put into English, “they would fill a 1,000 volume encyclopedia” (R. Platt, Reader’s Digest, October, 1962, p. 148).

One writer observed, “For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God” (Hebrews 3:4). The form and function of all the things God created teaches us there is a God (Job 12:710).

There Is a Prime Cause Behind the Cosmos

The cosmological argument seems to go hand in hand with the argument from design. This argument says the cosmos, including the world in which we live, obviously exists. It goes further to say that nothing comes from nothing. Therefore, there is a prime cause behind the cosmos, or God. The second law of thermodynamics, also known as entropy, says things go from order to disorder, or what we might describe as a winding down process. Such an obvious process lets us know the universe is not eternal. Something had to be behind its existence.

 

Man’s Moral Nature Proves There Is a Moral Governor

Man’s moral nature tells us there must be a Moral Governor. People the world over condemned Adolph Hitler’s attempt to destroy the Jews. Why? Because man’s innate “sense of right” told him genocide was wrong. The animals do not display such a sense. Anyone who has ever seen a documentary on any of a number of animals likely has been impressed with their total lack of conscience. They can kill and eat another innocent creature without any pangs of conscience. For that reason, we do not bring an ox that gores a man up on charges of murder. Instead, we place the ox inside a fence and post warnings of the danger. In contrast, a man who kills is considered a criminal and will be tried for murder because he ought to know better. Thompson and Jackson ask, “If one does not acknowledge an eternal Mind with which intrinsic goodness is coexistent, how is ‘morality’ to be explained?” (p. 28).

Even in our age of skepticism and doubt, man seems to seek something to worship. Thus, we have what has been termed the new age movement. Individuals pursuing this concept believe in “karma” and “soul mates.” Ancient Indians worshiped the “Great Spirit.” The men of Athens erected altars to all types of gods, including one inscribed, “To the Unknown God” (Acts 17:22-23). Augustine believed this universal desire of man to worship, which he called “intuition,” was clear evidence there is a God. Batsell Barrett Baxter, in his book I Believe Because..., explained this argument for God’s existence by describing a first time visitor to Washington, D. C. seeing the 550’ Washington Monument. He said when they stood before the monument, they would instinctively look up all the way to its top. The same type of instinct causes man to look up to heaven for the Almighty God.

The Concept of God in Man’s Mind Implies He Is

Baxter also explained Anselm’s ontological argument, by first telling his readers that ontology is the branch of philosophy devoted to the nature or existence of God. “Anselm began with a definition, ‘God is that than which nothing greater can be conceived!’ Then he argued that man is able to conceive in his mind of the idea that than which there is no greater.” He then went on to say he could think of something even greater than “that than which nothing greater can be conceived.” What was it? The existence of that being greater than anything which man could conceive. Baxter went on to point to Psalm 14:1, which says, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’“ Then, Baxter wrote, “In order for the fool to say ‘God,’ he had to have a concept of God in his mind. To start out to deny God is a kind of implication that God exists.”


Bear One Another’s Burdens

Robert Johnson

Robert JohnsonSome people have attributed the Bible with contradictions, when in reality the writer was looking at something from two different perspectives. For example, Paul encouraged the brethren of the churches in Galatia, “Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2). Paul was thinking of those times when we need each other’s help and support, and what it means to know there are brothers and sisters in Christ who care and are willing to help us through difficult times. When we face temptations, or become discouraged with the situations we face in life, it helps to know others have similar struggles and can support us through such. Compare what Paul said to the Thessalonians, “We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone” (1 Thessalonians 5:14).

However, this in no way contradicts what he wrote just a few verses later in Galatians: “For each one will bear his own load” (Galatians 6:5). While we can help support others in difficult times, and receive help from others ourselves, in the final analysis, we must choose how we each live, and we will answer for the choices we make. There are times when we all need encouragement, when our load or burden in life is beyond what we normally deal, and it helps to have someone walk with us. However, we each have to live our lives every day, and only you can decide what you must do, and you will give account for the decisions you make for your life. No one can make you sin unless you choose to do so, and no one can make you do the right thing, unless you choose to do so.

While two sides of the same truth were explored here by Paul, perhaps the bigger challenge is to know when to get involved and when to back away. Isolationism is not good for the Christian, as it gives Satan a huge advantage in tempting us, allowing his voice to be the only voice we hear. On the other hand, involvement by some can sometimes be nothing more than a person being nosey or bossy, assuming authority where one does not belong. Paul warned about this when he accused some in Thessalonica of “acting like busybodies” (2 Thessalonians 3:11).

The key seems to be Paul’s thought between these two verses in Galatians, in 5:4: “let each one examine his own work.” We must be sure of the motives of our hearts, honest with ourselves, before we are qualified to help anyone else. Self-deception is one of the biggest problems in Christianity. It is the most frequently used tool of Satan on us, as he cannot be effective in controlling us with sin if we are honest with ourselves about what it is doing to us personally. It is always easier to see it in others. This is why Jesus warned:

For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:2-5)

There are no contradictions in Scripture, but there very well may be some in our hearts and in our lives. That is why we need each other at times to help us see ourselves more clearly, to be more objective about life and to make better decisions. We all, however, choose for ourselves what we see, how we live and where we end up. What about you? “This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man” (Shakespeare).


In This Issue: Go to Page 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16
Copyright 1999—2013                                                                 Conditions of Use

Click Here for a FREE monthly reminder when each new issue
of Gospel Gazette Online has been published to the Internet.

Click Here to send the URL for this page to a friend

Click Here to send your comments about this page to Gospel Gazette Online